Download Arendt and Heidegger: The Fate of the Political by Dana Richard Villa PDF

By Dana Richard Villa

This article goals to safeguard Arendt opposed to her devotees. the writer argues that Arendt's sweeping reconceptualization of the character and price of political motion has been coated over and domesticated via admirers who had was hoping to enlist her of their much less radical philosophical/political initiatives. opposed to the existing "Aristotelian" interpretation of her paintings, Villa explores Arendt's modernity, and certainly her postmodernity, during the Heideggerian and Nietzschean subject of a holiday with culture on the closure of metaphysics. the writer makes a case for Arendt because the postmodern or post-metaphysical political theorist, the 1st political theorist to imagine during the nature of political motion after Nietzsche'a exposition of the demise of God. After giving an account of Arendt's concept of motion and Heidegger's impact on it, the booklet indicates how Arendt did justice to the Heideggerian and Nietzschean feedback of the metaphysical culture whereas warding off the political conclusions they drew from their reviews.

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Extra info for Arendt and Heidegger: The Fate of the Political

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However, in citing equality as an essential precondition of political action, Arendt is not subscribing to a doctrine of natural equality, such as that articulated by the Declaration of the Rights of Man or the Declaration of Independence. Equality is not a natural phenomenon. The Greeks knew this, and therefore created an artificial realm, the polis, in which individuals qua citizens could recognize one another on 34 • C H A P T E R 1 • an equal footing. ”116 As citizens, each had equal opportunity to be seen and heard, and to participate in deciding public affairs.

62 Precisely for this reason, Arendt claims, it is a mistake to view labor as the source of value, as Marx does. For something to possess value, she argues, it must possess durability. The labor process, however, is concerned solely with the production of consumer goods, with “commodities” that meet man’s biological need to consume, to reproduce himself. ”63 From Arendt’s perspective, then, the labor process is a ceaseless cycle of production and consumption, essentially unproductive insofar as what is produced has a most transitory existence.

75 Only action, Arendt states, following Aristotle, can lay claim to intrinsic meaningfulness, to self-containedness, and hence to freedom. But what specific activities count as action, from Arendt’s point of view? 76 These are absolutely critical questions: they lead to the heart of Arendt’s theory of political action and her paradoxical view of politics. I begin with the obvious. For Arendt, the political action and speech of citizens are, as Aristotle claimed, paradigmatic, self-contained activities.

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